When someone else wins a competition or gets praised for being really good at something and you don’t, does that mean that you aren’t that good?
This thought came to mind as I constantly praise my children. I tell my youngest daughter that she has an amazing memory. Then the other day, I asked my oldest daughter a question and she replied, “I don’t know because I don’t have a good memory.” It dawned on me that as I emphasized their talents, Emily wasn’t hearing what she was really good at. Instead, she was thinking that she was bad at the things I praised her sister for.
What an amazing insight for me! I explained to Emily that just because someone else gets praised, wins a competition, or a game, doesn’t mean that she isn’t also really talented. I know she isn’t alone in this thought that if I don’t win, don’t get an A, or get recognition, then I must not be good enough. Worse, maybe you think that you are really bad.
As adults, we apply this to getting jobs, finding a mate, and job successes. When someone else gets the recognition, we feel that we didn’t do something right or that we are a failure. This is the always second, always a bridesmaid never a bride mentality.
Is this the truth? No, but it sure is easy to feel that way. Self-doubt sneaks into us in so many ways. I never would have thought that my mind would twist not being the best to mean that I wasn’t good enough.
The truth is that we must always try our best and be proud of what we were able to accomplish. Comparing ourselves to others should only be a motivation to learn what they do so we can get better. Comparing ourselves should never be for self-destruction thinking someone is better than we are. That is not healthy. There will always be someone better than you at whatever you are doing if you view the world through eyes of jealousy and self-doubt.
Confidence and self-love come from the inside. You must be content with who God made you. Then find the joy in all that you can do. The truth about the best is that they love who they are and can see their potential to get even better. They admire people without thinking they aren’t good enough. Remember that every person you compare yourself to once was where you are right now.
I explained to Emily that when she watched a movie about dancing, it inspired her to practice dance moves. She didn’t get down on herself thinking that she could never do that. She focused on admiration. When we played a checker game and I won, she instantly started to cry. I reminded her to watch what I was doing, learn how I played, and use the moves that I made. The next morning she woke up and began playing a checkers game with one of her stuffed animals practicing various moves. That is being the best when you strive to learn, grow, and love yourself enough to keep trying.
The world is your motivator and greatest teacher.
~ your inner guide
Voyage to HEAL Weekly Task
Stretch: Let’s stretch our quadratus lumborum. That’s the muscle in the lower back right above the pelvis that gives so many people grief. Sit cross-legged and lean onto your hand or elbow to the right or left, whichever is easiest. Reach the opposite arm up over your head laterally. Try to keep both butt cheeks on the ground. Repeat on the more difficult side.
Exercise: Let’s hold a plank. This can be done with hands against the wall and step your feet back, hands-on a sturdy table or countertop, or on the floor. If you are going to do the plank position on the floor, which is essentially the push-up position resting on your hands with your feet extended out straight behind you, feel free to be on your knees or toes. Start where you are comfortable. Do not bend your elbows. Simply hold this position for three 30 second increments. If you can do more, do so. I know this is a hard position so gradually work up to it and make sure you turn those core muscles on!
Habitual Correction: Have you ever slumped over so you weren’t as tall or to hide a body feature that you didn’t want to emphasize? I have seen so many clients do this. I encourage you to stand tall and proud. Show off all of the amazing features God has given you.
Perspective Enlightenment: Comparing myself to others motivates me.
Journal option: Do you compare yourself to others? Who? How does this affect you?
This week’s blog post coincides with week 8 of the Voyage to HEAL which focuses on I am enough. I encourage you to listen to this meditation as you hold the stretch. I would love your thoughts on this post. Please feel free to comment in the space below.
Godspeed on your Voyage to HEAL learning Healthy Everyday Activities for Life.